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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vassal Batrep: AbusePuppy vs Chumbalaya

Since Fluger had to bail out on our Vassal game, I ended up playing Chumbalaya instead- which was hardly a bad thing, as BA are one of the matchups I don't have a lot of practice against. I played my Tyranids- lists were roughly as follows:

Tyrant (HVC, OA, HC)
2x Tyrant Guard
3x3 Hive Guard
2x10 Termagants
2x Tervigon (Catalyst, Cluster, Adrenal, Toxin)
Tyrannofex (Rupture, Cluster, Dessicator)
2x Trygon (Adrenal)

Honor Guard (3 Melta, 3 Flamer, SS, PF)
2x Sang Priest (JP, LC)
Sang Guard (2 Infernus, PFist, Banner)
3x Sang Guard (2 Infernus, PFist)
2 Van Vets (SS, Sarge w/PFist)

We had an urban setup with a number of ruins, a hill, and some random trucks, etc, scattered around. I lost the roll-off and chose to take the upper half, which had somewhat more confined terrain.

I knew the game could go one of two ways: if he went on-board, I would need to be very careful about how far I moved and where I stood; if he went for the DS, I would need to avoid creating holes in my lineup and try and hem him in using terrain. In either case, taking advantage of terrain to set up difficult charges for him and force Dangerous Terrain tests on his dudes was going to be key. I deployed in fairly standard pattern, Tyrant at the center and Termagants screening me- I knew that he didn't have a lot of strong firepower to chip away at my screens, so controlling the first round of charges would be fairly easy.

Deployment was Pitched Battle, with Capture and Control for mission.

(Sorry no pics of the start of the game, it ended up being fairly irrelevant.)

Chumby chose to DS everything in, which wasn't surprising, but I feel was a mistake; allowing me to get the first real charges off (as opposed to just crashing into my Termagants) is a big concession, as both of us rely heavily on the charge to do damage to the enemy.

My first turn I advanced forward, spawned some Gaunts (with my right-side Tervigon going dry on a seven) and took up what I considered to be the best position I could get. I was spread across the zone between my hill and the two buildings flanking me, giving him only a few small holes to DS into without being directly next to some big critters, and any drop coming anywhere near my lines risked DT on the various ruins.

Second turn was slightly more of the same for me- I shuffled my last few units into position, spawned again with my Tervi on the left, and prepared to soak Chumb's initial assault.

On his own turn he rolled rather poorly, getting Dante+HG, one Sang Guard with Priest, and one VV. Not aburdly low (three of seven units), but certainly awfully low. Dante & Co. came down right in front of my lines, the SG arrived up in the corner, and the VV came in on the left side just ahead of them and scattered minimally. Opening up on the Trygon in front of them, Dante's Guard inflicted two Melta wounds and killed a couple Gaunts with the flamer overlay (his squad was 2x Melta/Flamer guys, Flamer/SS, Melta/PFist, and the Initiate.) Th SG ran forward to insure that the VV got the benefit of the Priest, and the VV then jumped into assault with two Termagant squads, declining to engage the third one (which was probably a good choice.) Both counterattacked successfully and Chumb rolled rather poorly, only killing a few guys in each squad; I struck back and didn't do much, but got lucky and saved most of the No Retreat wounds, leaving both squads in decent shape and looking to hold him up a bit longer.

As of my T3, after spawning with the Tervigon. Chumb's objective was out of place here, as we hadn't correctly moved it to his deployment zone.

I spawned a large squad of Termagants, moved them into cover, and shuffled my units around, preparing for the rest of his forces to arrive next turn. With my southwest flank open thanks to the VV charge, I knew I needed to take care of Dante's squad quickly before I was overwhelmed with targets. I figured my Hive Guard could do some incidental damage to his one squad of SG and I could assault out his other unit with my MCs.

Mistake #1: I didn't protect my still-spawning Tervigon here. I should have moved my (bright green) Termagants in to shield him from the SG on the left, since it was not possible to get him into assault yet. Being short on scoring units would come back to haunt me later here. Perhaps I should've assaulted them with the Gants, but I had hoped to cut down on his numbers a bit more than I did.

So my Termagants and Hive Guard shot at his SG. Not surprisingly, the Termagants did nothing. The HG got a number of excellent shots, scoring three, five, and six wounds respectively, but Chumb's dice were making up for past transgressions and refused to show any ones, leaving the squad unharmed. After throwing in Paroxysm and the Tfex's shooting, my trio of MCs all charged Dante's unit. The Trygon rolled mediocrely, doing three wounds early, and the Tyrant+Guard managed to cut down the last two and lay a couple wounds on Dante, with the TFex getting one more in on him. Having been horribly massacred Dante ran like a little girl and managed to get away- curses! I consolidate back a good distance. The VV on the left continue to pound on Termagants, killing a few more of them, but not quite enough, leaving two in each squad.

As of Chumb's, with reserves arrived.

Frodo's forces came in with a vengeance this turn, with his whole army arriving in its entirety. The VV showed up in front of my southeast Termagant wall, well within charge distance. An SG squad came in deep in the south regions of the map, with a second one coming in with a Priest on the eastern side. Dante regrouped and hopped over to join the westernmost SG squad and the SG jumped over the continuing fight to ambush big momma. In the assault phase the western VV finished off the last of the Termagants and the VV slaughtered my Tervigon on that side; the retaliatory hits killed just a small number of Termagants, thankfully. On the right side things went significantly worse as the Termagants and VV killed about equal numbers of each other, leaving only two of the latter alive.

End of Frodo's turn 3/beginning of my turn 4. I haven't yet piled in the Termagants in the southeast.

So, things have turned around for Frodo, but we're both still very much in the game here. I have two basic problems: the SG/VV in the northwest, and the squads of SG down south. Both have the potential to reach me in the coming turn, so I need to set things up so that I can take them out effectively. I also need to protect my Tervigon in the north, as it's currently my only Synapse up there (not to mention a scoring unit.) So: I need to hold the Sanguine Guard in the north in place. I have a squad of Termagants and a squad of Hive Guard in range to charge, both fairly good strength (fourteen and three models respectively). With a combined charge, I can pin them down, having weakened them with some shooting, and use my MCs to deal with the Guard in the south, who will have a tough time getting rid of all of them. My blue Trygon can finish off the VV near the center, freeing my Termagants and netting some extra movement for itself. I leap into action with my plan, and it sort of works.

Down south, things go pretty much as expected- The Trygon and Tyrant get charges in and wipe them out, with the TFex unable to fit into the gap. My other Trygon annihilates the Marines with ease, keeping a squad of Termagants safe- these can potentially score me Chumb's objective, so I shuffle them down, as I already have three scoring units standing near my objective. My plan up north does not work nearly so well- all my Termagants and Hive Guard fire into targets with absolutely no effect- good lord, Chumby's dice were on fire tonight. I sight and go for the charge anyways.

Mistake(?) #2: Sending either the Hive Guard or Termagants alone would probably have been a better idea. The Gants could soak casualties if he didn't roll well against them; the Guard could've relied on T6 to shrug off their attacks, as I likely would've only taken 1-2 wounds. Unfortunately, I sent both squads in, giving him maximum chances to do damage.

This one doesn't go so well- he kills off a couple Termagants and manages to wipe out the Hive Guard. With the Gants now out of Synapse (the Tyrant moved south out of range), they break and run, getting cut down as they go. So much for delaying tactics, I guess. :\

I consolidate back with my MCs, forming a wall. Well, half the plan worked.

Chumby goes back on the offensive on his fourth turn. His two southern squads jump in, aiming guns on my MCs (mostly to no effect) while the squads up north dive in on the Termagants. Unsurprisingly, he multicharges my Gaunts and my Trygon/Tyrannofex in both locations. In the north, I do okay- I kill off the remainder of his VV, but he wipes both Termagant squads. In the south, I lose my MCs and do a couple wounds to his southern squad with the TFex, but combat resolution finishes the job that his units started. Tellingly, he consolidates forward, which I had my fingers crossed for- this sets me up to do exactly what I want next turn. If this turn looks short, it's because it was- at this point, either of us have a lot of units on the field nor a lot of options.

Notice that virtually all the blood is in one little section of the map... Also, take careful note of where my Tervigon is, because I am about to do something amazingly stupid.

Alright, I'm doing pretty okay here- I have a turn or two to finish off his last squads, and since I'm on the charge, there is an excellent chance I will be able to do so. However, with only two troops left and one Synapse creature in the north, I cannot afford to lose my Tervigon. I also don't have a lot of melee assets left up there- realistically, just the Tervigon itself; if he can pour enough hits into it, he can kill it off and come out with a win from this despite being in a bad position. So my goals: eliminate the squads down south (very doable) and reclaim my objective (harder). The Lightning Claw priest is my biggest threat; he is twice as likely as anything else to put wounds on my creatures, so keeping his ability to affect the Tervigon to a minimum is foremost on my mind.

This costs me the game.

Super Duper Mistake #3: I move the Tervigon north and east, aiming for the end of his line where he can't get to me with a Defenders React move. I then proceed to shoot with the Tervigon and Hive Guard, expecting the same results (nothing) I have been getting all game. This is really, really dumb of me, but I do want to cut down on the attacks coming in.

By some impossible magic (i.e. fairly normal probability) I kill two of his Sanguine Guard- moreover, they are actually the two at the eastern tip of the line. Damnit. I moved the Gants in as well and Run them, but looking at the map, I already know what is going to happen here. It's turn 5, right? Everyone knows what always happens on turn 5.

I declare charges- and, yes indeed, the Tervigon is unable to make it in. The Hive Guard reach, and the SG pile in to them, doing nothing. We check- I am about 3.1" off the objective with my Tervigon. Damnit damnit damnit.

Down south things go swimmingly, however; I trot the Trygon in, loop the Hive Tyrant around and charge the Trygon into the western squad, the Tyrant into Dante himself and his two Guard into the two remaining members in the middle. Lash Whip shows how awesome it is and I murder Dante to death before he can do anything, not surprising with only one wound left. The Trygon cuts up the entire SG squad and my Tyrant Guard whiff at the other two, but stay locked in combat.

With only two units left on the field and both of them locked in combat with T6 creatures, I am doing super-well, right? Right?

We check to see whether the game ends. Sure, it's early (Chumb hasn't gotten his turn 5 yet), but he can't actually win this one unless he gets an insane string of sixes to wound.

And that beautiful "game ends" die comes up a two. With six models left, all tied in combat and MCs poised to pounce but .1" too far away we tie the game 0-0. And I know it's my own fault for being dumb and shooting and maneuvering when I should've just gone for the charge.

So it was a good game and I can't blame Chumby for my being stupid. I definitely thing that SG armies really want to start on the table and that Devs are a better backup for them than VV are, but Chumb played well and I made mistakes. Here's to hoping that I learn from them.

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